Monday, December 6, 2010

'Tis the Season to Hunt All of God's Splendor

Hunting season has started out in Graham.  Unfortunately, my husband who would love to spend his time hunting is busy building our house.  My hunting seams to be of a more solid kind.  I was successful with rock hunting today, a whole truck bed full.  

We are into December now with an abundance of ladybugs - unsure where they're coming from, but they are all over.

On my rock hunt, I found this face looking at me, at least that is what I's fun to see something new each time you walk around the woods.

Most of the copper metal roofing is up, just the center ridge to be put up tomorrow.  Robert has sheathed the lower floor and has worked so hard while he works full time at his job in Fort Worth.

The most exciting news is the first piece of furniture has entered the house.  As we're living in a trailer, we are losing the battle to winter clothing and now that we have semi-dried in the lower half of the house, we've created a closet in the bathroom.  This will help me from losing my mind and I'm no longer living out of five laundry baskets.

We have a private lane to our front gate, it has pasture land on both sides, one side has some roping calves and two beautiful horses which we enjoy visiting with.

Our little Texas wild flower.......

WARNING.........for those that aren't fond of hunting, please stop here, there will be some photos of our newest hobby.

Our goal is to become as self sufficient as we can.  We've raised a few goats and laying hens and have happily eaten them and hope to continue to hunt and raise our meat.  This continues to be such an amazing experience and we are so thankful for being able to live and realize more of our dream.

Robert and I went down to the back part of the woods last week to check his hog trap and BINGO!  It was exciting to have our first wild boar.  At first I wanted to photograph the moment, but then I sort of felt weird about it, as I'm new to the hunting/trapping experience, but believe in what we're choosing to do here on our land.  Robert weighed him in at 170 lbs.  The trap is on loan from one of his work colleagues, so we gave 1/2 of the meat to him and the other half is in our freezer.  We're looking forward to making a big pot of chili for Christmas.  We've always wanted to cook something over a campfire in a dutch oven.

As unsure as I felt about this wild creature, Audrey our 5 year old daughter watched almost the whole process of Robert gutting it, skinning it, I think she came inside during the head part, but found it fascinating, which I found fascinating.  She loves animals, but not without understanding of where our meat comes from and it's been interesting to raise the children with respect to how God provides.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

He's my Charles to my Caroline...

Our blog started out with the title, "Witherspoon Wilderness" which wasn't exactly what we were looking for, but you have to title it something.  I have since mixed and matched a play on my love of the television show, "Little House on the Prairie" and our new adventure of life on our 72 acres.  Charles built his family their house and Robert's building ours.

Our first thought when we knew we'd live in our trailer initially was to wall in part of a metal building to expand our living space.  A month and a half ago it occurred to me (out of the blue) that it might be fun to build a small cottage. The 'cottage' now is fully framed and has magically turned into our, 'Little House' on our 72 acres.  What an amazing experience, hard to express in a blog, how much of this experience so far has enriched our lives.  I'd like to point out that I've always referred to it as, 'our cottage' you have to know me to understand how I like to put a twist of my style on things around me.  Robert's building plan came from a garage and shed magazine.  It's 1200 sqft and with some clever spacing of walls - we will have three bedrooms, an enclosed laundry/fridge space, sitting room open to the kitchen, den/office space, 1.5 bathrooms and a tv/study room on the upstairs landing and a small wood stove on the main floor.  I'm starting to quickly sense our 'Little House' is my dream house.  I'm smiling about this, because there are many beautiful houses, but building this alongside my husband with our children's help has been a once in a life time experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.

We are truly blessed.  I think what amazes me more is that our lives are better than living a dream and to realize that is such a gift each day.  (side note: oh sure we have our off days, moments and they can get creatively interesting when you mix a Bud with a Darlin' - our names for eachother)


Audrey hard at work
building the foundation
Keeping things level...

Audrey the builder

Bud building a strong foundation

A little touch of me during the building process


Jack learning to use a nail gun.

Robert hand made the floor beams for the second floor - impressive and cost effective to boot!

floor beams up and nailed down

My french doors opening!

second floor framing

Crazy man did this with winds around 30-40 miles/hr and by himself - raising the center beam with no help - of course I could have helped, but would Charles have had Caroline out there in those conditions, apparently not.  

This process required rope and nailed boards to hold each end as he inched it up from one side to the this man!

crazy man who can do almost anything

FIRST MOMENT he patted himself on the back, yelled for me to come out and take photos and was smiling!  Way to go, Bud - you think this was recognized feat, I wish you could watch you through my eyes and see you build this from the beginning and you'd see why you're my hero.

As you can see some of the roof rafters are up and the sun is rising, why is this.....oh because my work horse of a husband started in the dark.......dedication is who he is.....I suppose this posting is a tribute to Robert Lee Witherspoon and why our children are so happy and why I'd live just about anywhere with him.  

blue skies, but windy days

First time we let the children up on the second landing, first landing if you're British reading this.

Stay tuned...........(smile)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Home Depot Delivers!

Robert made his list and checked it twice and then ordered our supplies for the cottage.  The Home Depot delivers out to Graham, TX.  (notice the, 'THE' - Audrey always points out it's not Home Depot, but The Home Depot)  It looks like the next two months weekends are full of building fun.

On a sad note, our last chicken/laying hen was a casualty to what we think was a bobcat.  Poor Jillian was traumatized by seeing her partner taken away.  She spent last night roosting on Robert's rain boots on the porch next to Sonny.  Although Robert doesn't like to humanize animals, he did notice that Sonny the morning of the incident went over to Jillian and sort of hollowed and comforted her.  One of my favorite noises in the morning are Jillian crowing and Sonny hollowing along with her. (reminder, Jillian is really a rooster)

Robert built us a fire pit out of rocks he rounded up from the back woods.  We spent a day clearing the treed area next to the area we'll be building our cottage.

Little Brown Betty has wandered into our neighbor's field of BULLS.  His herd is all registered rodeo bulls.  She loves walking with the big boys.  We're not too concerned, because she's still under a year.  Robert's found some of the weak spots in the fence and is fixing it, she's still small and seems to squeeze through areas those big boys can't squeeze back to our field.  We check on her daily, and hear her boyfriends moo and bull's mooing sounds like one might be in Jurassic park.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weatherford to 72 Acres in Graham, Texas

As some of you know, we moved out to Weatherford, Texas, 28 miles west of Fort Worth.  We were excited about finding our house on Hidden Creek Loop three years ago.  We had thought we'd found the perfect spot to raise our family and be surrounded by country life, too.  However as some of you followed our FB life, we quickly started to outgrow our one acre and our hobbies started to point us in the direction of bigger country living.  We loved the idea of having our own laying hens and that adventure lead us to getting some goats and then onto our calf, Betty.

Robert had been searching for a larger property, a place he could hunt and enjoy more nature.  He came across some interesting places further west in a town called Graham.  Graham is 90 miles west of Fort Worth.  We knew as we often know right away the moment we wandered around the Graham property it was a place we'd been looking for.  Although at that time we didn't imagine wanting to live on it full time and not just live on it, but start doing this before building a house and the adventure begins.

We moved our travel trailer out here at the beginning of the summer.  Although we hadn't discussed the idea of actually living out here full time, it only took a few times to realize we no longer wanted to live in our house in Weatherford.  This made us start to dream up all sorts of creative ideas on how to live life in Graham.

The move to live out in Graham started with registering the children for school out in Graham this fall.  We are living in our travel trailer full time.  I laugh as I post this, because we have a perfectly lovely house in Weatherford and it sits empty (full of our stuff).  Selling that house is another story and of course if anyone knows someone who'd like to buy it, please pass on our information.

Our newest 'idea' is designing and building a cottage to live in before the winter.  This is where Robert's engineering and talents will kick into action.  We're hoping to build this cottage ourselves from start to finish.

It amazes me that the people we were created to be and continue to become have lead us to our 72 acres in Graham.  The joy of living out in the country, the simplicity of living and learning how happy we can be.  I'm blogging the journey we've started here in Graham.